How To Remove Bed Bugs Quickly

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 4 Easy Steps

Bed bugs: who needs ’em? If you’ve discovered bites on your skin, or found those pesky little things crawling around on your bed or nearby, take action right away! Don’t live with this stressful problem, and don’t spend thousands replacing your mattress or paying an exterminator to perform a treatment that you can do yourself for less. Here’s how you can get rid of bed bugs in just 4 easy steps:

Stop the Biting

The first goal in a bed bug treatment is to stop bed bugs from biting you while you sleep. If bed bugs can’t feed, they can’t breed. If they can’t breed, then they can’t reproduce, and the infestation won’t be able to grow any further. This means that as soon as you remove their food source (your blood), you set a timer for the infestation to starve off.

Kill Bed Bugs in Your Bed

To begin, strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home. Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting. Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.

While your laundry cycle is running, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard. Follow up the vacuuming with a high pressure steamer to penetrate deep inside mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and footboards to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.

While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray. The contact spray will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, while the residual spray will kill bed bugs over several weeks. Remember to follow the sprays’ product labels and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements. Encasements are crucial, as they prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress and box spring, cutting off key hiding places. Remember to leave the encasements on for at least 18 months to ensure that any bed bugs already inside have starved to death. Once the encasements have been applied, you can put your mattress and box springs back on your treated bed frame, and put your laundered bedding back on your bed.

Make Your Bed Bite Proof

Now that you’ve killed the bed bugs hiding in your bed, it’s time to put up defensive measures to keep them out. Remember, bed bugs can be hiding in all sorts of cracks and crevices throughout your bedroom – in furniture, along baseboards, and inside of the walls – so you need a way to keep them out of your freshly treated bed. By cutting off the infestation’s food supply (you), you halt their breeding and reproductive cycle, making the treatment a whole lot easier.

Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture. Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame. The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. If you don’t have a bed frame with legs, you should purchase one to sleep in, at least until you are bed bug free.

To complete the isolation, place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of the bed. These interceptors will prevent bed bugs from climbing up your bed legs, stopping them from reaching you in your bed. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into the perimeter pitfall where they can’t escape.

With the bed now fully isolated and elevated, bed bugs hiding elsewhere in the room won’t be able to feed on you or hide in your bed. You can also use the ClimbUps to monitor the changing population of bed bugs in your home. Hopefully, you will see less and less bugs appear in the traps as you go through the next steps. Now that you have created a safe haven in your bed, you can move on to treating the rest of the room.

Bed Bug Hunt

Steam and Clean Your Room

Bed bugs could be hiding in all sorts of tight spaces in your room, like wood cracks, inside books and furniture, and along the baseboards and the edges of the carpet. In this step, we’re going to clean, vacuum, and steam those areas that bed bugs are likely to be. This will cut down on the bed bug population while making it harder for survivors to hide.

Begin by reducing clutter in the room; things like clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs and eggs. Seal those items in garbage bags and store them away from the room. Any clothing that was picked up or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes. Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.

Next, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet. When you’re done vacuuming, the bag or canister should be cleaned or discarded to limit exposure of bed bugs to other parts of the home. The steamer can also be used to treat sofas, chairs, furniture, and cabinets. When applying steam, remember to move the nozzle slowly (about one inch per second) to ensure that all bed bugs and eggs are killed.

If you suspect that bed bugs might be hiding in items that can’t be laundered or steamed, like books, papers, luggage, shoes, and dry-clean only clothing, you can treat those with a portable bed bug heater. Heaters are a popular way to safely heat-treat items during bed bug treatments, or as a preventative tool for travelers who want to ensure that bed bugs can’t escape from their luggage to infest their home.

Spray and Powder Cracks and Crevices

It’s time to finish off any bed bugs you may have missed, and to set up a long-lasting defense for any eggs that hatch in the coming weeks. Use a combination of both contact and residual sprays, as well as a residual powder, to ensure that you cut down the population now and continue killing bed bugs over time.

First up are the contact sprays, like STERI-FAB and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs. These will kill quickly, but evaporate shortly after, leaving no long-lasting protection. Spray along baseboards, below drawers and on drawer slides, behind cabinets, and behind night stands. Follow up with a residual spray, such as Bedlam Plus and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus. Residual sprays will offer long-lasting protection against bed bugs and hatchlings. Bedlam Plus is ideal for cracks and crevices throughout the room, while JT Eaton Plus can be used below the cushions and bases of sofas, chairs, edges of carpets and other fabric items.

Remember that sprays shouldn’t be applied to areas that you’ll touch, walk on, or sit on. Sprays are designed to treat hiding places that bed bugs are or may be, and bed bugs tend to not want to hang out in open areas like the carpet or the tops of furniture.

Next, apply a bed bug powder into confined areas where it won’t be stirred up into the air. Places like the edges of carpeting, inside deep cracks and wall voids, and inside electrical outlets and light switches (accessed by removing the faceplate with a screwdriver) are good candidates for powders, as sprays can’t reach into these areas quite as well. We recommend using a professional powder applicator, which offers better control when applying the powder.

To ensure that all bed bugs are killed, reapply the contact and residual sprays two weeks after the initial treatment, then again two weeks after that, for a total of three applications. These reapplications make sure that any eggs that have hatched will be killed off so that they can’t create a new infestation. Bed bug powders will not need to be reapplied, as they work for as long as they remain dry and undisturbed.

If you followed all of these steps, including the reapplications, you should be bed bug free in a matter of weeks! You even get to keep the products afterwards for prevention purposes, and it all costs less than hiring a pest control professional to perform the treatments.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in 4 Easy Steps

Bed bugs: who needs ’em? If you’ve discovered bites on your skin, or found those pesky little things crawling around on your bed or nearby, take action right away! Don’t live with this stressful problem, and don’t spend thousands replacing your mattress or paying an exterminator to perform a treatment that you can do yourself for less. Here’s how you can get rid of bed bugs in just 4 easy steps:

Stop the Biting

The first goal in a bed bug treatment is to stop bed bugs from biting you while you sleep. If bed bugs can’t feed, they can’t breed. If they can’t breed, then they can’t reproduce, and the infestation won’t be able to grow any further. This means that as soon as you remove their food source (your blood), you set a timer for the infestation to starve off.

Kill Bed Bugs in Your Bed

To begin, strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home. Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting. Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.

While your laundry cycle is running, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard. Follow up the vacuuming with a high pressure steamer to penetrate deep inside mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and footboards to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.

While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray. The contact spray will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, while the residual spray will kill bed bugs over several weeks. Remember to follow the sprays’ product labels and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements. Encasements are crucial, as they prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress and box spring, cutting off key hiding places. Remember to leave the encasements on for at least 18 months to ensure that any bed bugs already inside have starved to death. Once the encasements have been applied, you can put your mattress and box springs back on your treated bed frame, and put your laundered bedding back on your bed.

Make Your Bed Bite Proof

Now that you’ve killed the bed bugs hiding in your bed, it’s time to put up defensive measures to keep them out. Remember, bed bugs can be hiding in all sorts of cracks and crevices throughout your bedroom – in furniture, along baseboards, and inside of the walls – so you need a way to keep them out of your freshly treated bed. By cutting off the infestation’s food supply (you), you halt their breeding and reproductive cycle, making the treatment a whole lot easier.

Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture. Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame. The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. If you don’t have a bed frame with legs, you should purchase one to sleep in, at least until you are bed bug free.

To complete the isolation, place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of the bed. These interceptors will prevent bed bugs from climbing up your bed legs, stopping them from reaching you in your bed. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into the perimeter pitfall where they can’t escape.

With the bed now fully isolated and elevated, bed bugs hiding elsewhere in the room won’t be able to feed on you or hide in your bed. You can also use the ClimbUps to monitor the changing population of bed bugs in your home. Hopefully, you will see less and less bugs appear in the traps as you go through the next steps. Now that you have created a safe haven in your bed, you can move on to treating the rest of the room.

Bed Bug Hunt

Steam and Clean Your Room

Bed bugs could be hiding in all sorts of tight spaces in your room, like wood cracks, inside books and furniture, and along the baseboards and the edges of the carpet. In this step, we’re going to clean, vacuum, and steam those areas that bed bugs are likely to be. This will cut down on the bed bug population while making it harder for survivors to hide.

Begin by reducing clutter in the room; things like clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs and eggs. Seal those items in garbage bags and store them away from the room. Any clothing that was picked up or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes. Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.

Next, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet. When you’re done vacuuming, the bag or canister should be cleaned or discarded to limit exposure of bed bugs to other parts of the home. The steamer can also be used to treat sofas, chairs, furniture, and cabinets. When applying steam, remember to move the nozzle slowly (about one inch per second) to ensure that all bed bugs and eggs are killed.

If you suspect that bed bugs might be hiding in items that can’t be laundered or steamed, like books, papers, luggage, shoes, and dry-clean only clothing, you can treat those with a portable bed bug heater. Heaters are a popular way to safely heat-treat items during bed bug treatments, or as a preventative tool for travelers who want to ensure that bed bugs can’t escape from their luggage to infest their home.

Spray and Powder Cracks and Crevices

It’s time to finish off any bed bugs you may have missed, and to set up a long-lasting defense for any eggs that hatch in the coming weeks. Use a combination of both contact and residual sprays, as well as a residual powder, to ensure that you cut down the population now and continue killing bed bugs over time.

First up are the contact sprays, like STERI-FAB and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs. These will kill quickly, but evaporate shortly after, leaving no long-lasting protection. Spray along baseboards, below drawers and on drawer slides, behind cabinets, and behind night stands. Follow up with a residual spray, such as Bedlam Plus and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus. Residual sprays will offer long-lasting protection against bed bugs and hatchlings. Bedlam Plus is ideal for cracks and crevices throughout the room, while JT Eaton Plus can be used below the cushions and bases of sofas, chairs, edges of carpets and other fabric items.

Remember that sprays shouldn’t be applied to areas that you’ll touch, walk on, or sit on. Sprays are designed to treat hiding places that bed bugs are or may be, and bed bugs tend to not want to hang out in open areas like the carpet or the tops of furniture.

Next, apply a bed bug powder into confined areas where it won’t be stirred up into the air. Places like the edges of carpeting, inside deep cracks and wall voids, and inside electrical outlets and light switches (accessed by removing the faceplate with a screwdriver) are good candidates for powders, as sprays can’t reach into these areas quite as well. We recommend using a professional powder applicator, which offers better control when applying the powder.

To ensure that all bed bugs are killed, reapply the contact and residual sprays two weeks after the initial treatment, then again two weeks after that, for a total of three applications. These reapplications make sure that any eggs that have hatched will be killed off so that they can’t create a new infestation. Bed bug powders will not need to be reapplied, as they work for as long as they remain dry and undisturbed.

If you followed all of these steps, including the reapplications, you should be bed bug free in a matter of weeks! You even get to keep the products afterwards for prevention purposes, and it all costs less than hiring a pest control professional to perform the treatments.

US EPA

Bed Bugs

Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control

Can you get rid of bed bugs on your own?

Treating bed bugs is complex. Your likelihood of success depends on many factors, including:

  • How many bed bugs you have;
  • How much clutter is available for hiding places;
  • Whether your neighbors have bedbugs; and
  • Whether all residents of a house or building will participate.

Getting rid of bed bugs completely can take weeks to months, depending on the nature and extent of the infestation. To be successful, everyone will need to cooperate and do their part.

The following steps will help you begin:

You may have to follow these steps more than once to kill all the bugs and their eggs.

Identify the Problem

  • Identify the pest:
  • Collect a sample of the pest to show an extension agentExitor other insect expert.
  • Extension agents can identify the pest at no cost to you. They are trained in pest control and know your local area.
  • If an extension agent or other expert says the pest is a bed bug, notify your landlord if you live in an apartment. The units near yours should be inspected.
    • Landlords may have a responsibilityExit to participate in treatment.
    • Check the housing codes and laws in your area.
    • Inspect all areas that may have bed bugs, plus surrounding living spaces, to find out the extent of infestation.
    • Develop a Strategy

      • Make a schedule for completing the steps below. Be sure to include any personal plans, such as vacations.
      • Keep records through the whole process. Note the dates and exact locations where pests are found. This will help you track progress and better know where to target your work.
      • Keep checking for at least a year after you’re done to make sure all the bed bugs are gone.

      Keep the Infestation from Spreading

      • Remove infested items. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and treat them. Learn more about treatment methods in the sections below.
      • Items that cannot be treated should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left there for up to a year to ensure any active bugs are dead.
      • Empty the vacuum after each use. Seal the bag as tightly as possible and immediately throw it out in an outdoor trash container.
      • Discard furniture responsibly if you can’t safely eliminate the bed bugs. Destroy it so someone else won’t be tempted to bring it into their home. For example:
      • Rip covers and remove stuffing from furniture items.
      • Use spray paint to mark furniture with "Bed Bugs."
    • Have infested items picked up as soon as possible by the trash collection agency.
    • Don’t discard furniture if you can safely eliminate the bed bugs from it.
    • Prepare for Treatment

      Preparing for treatment is very important; it will make it easier to monitor for bed bugs that haven’t been eliminated. This preparation should be completed whether you are doing the treatment yourself or hiring a professional.

      Kill the Bed Bugs

      • Make sure the methods you select are safe, effective and legal. See What’s Legal, What’s Not.
      • Considernon-chemical methodsof killing bed bugs. Some will be more useful than others depending on your situation. These and other methods can be helpful, but they might not get rid of the infestation entirely:
      • Heat treatment:You can use a clothes dryer on high heat. You can also use black plastic bags in a hot, closed car in the sun, but success depends on your climate and other factors. Do-it-yourself heat treatments might not work. Professionals have access to more intensive and proven methods that can even treat whole houses with heat. You may also purchase a portable heat chamber, which is usually quite effective.
      • Cold treatmentcan be successful in the home environment if the freezer is set to 0 o F. You must leave the items in a sealed bag in the freezer at that temperature for four days. Always use a thermometer to check the temperature, since home freezers are not always set to 0 o .
      • Steam cleaners(wet or dry) can get into cracks and fabrics to treat carpets, baseboards, bed frames, and other furniture. The steam temperature must be at least 130 o F but should not have a forceful airflow, or it may cause bed bugs to scatter. Use a diffuser to prevent scattering.
    • If needed,hire a pest management professional or use pesticidescarefully according to the label directions:
      • Look for EPA-registered pesticides that have bed bugs listed on the label.
      • Use foggers (bug bombs) only with extreme care and only if bed bugs are listed on the label. Improper use can harm your health or cause a fire or explosion. Foggers should not be your only method of bed bug control. The spray will not reach the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. See Should I Use a Fogger? for more information.
      • Carefully look for any evidence of bed bugsevery few days after you complete your initial cleanup and control processes.If you see bed bugs, either the initial cleanup missed some bugs or eggs have hatched. Retreatment may be needed.
      • Consider using different types of pesticides if repeated treatments are needed.Desiccants (chemicals that dry things out) can be particularly effectivein some situations since they work by drying out the bug (which means the bed bugs can’t develop resistance).
        • If using desiccants, be sure to use only products registered by EPA as a pesticide.
        • Do not use pool- or food-grade diatomaceous earth(made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms). This type of diatomaceous earth can harm you when you breathe it in. The pesticide version uses a different size of diatoms, which reduces the hazard.
        • Desiccants can be very effective but may take several months to work.
        • Evaluate and Prevent

          • Continue to inspect for bed bugs, at least every 7 days, in case any eggs remain. You can use interceptors, traps or other monitoring methods. Interceptors are placed under the legs of furniture to catch bed bugs and keep them from climbing the legs. Commercial and do-it-yourself interceptors are options.
          • Continue to protect your home from bed bugs.

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          12 Easy DIY Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Quickly: A Killer Guide

          I enjoy writing about home improvement and household pest control.

          Eliminate Bed Bugs From Your Home!

          In order to get rid of this pest, you need to understand how it works. Getting rid of bed bugs can be a tricky task because they are expert hitchhikers. The best thing you can do is to entrust the task with an experienced pest control professional. However, if you are planning to do it yourself, I’ve provided you great tips and information about bed bugs to help you in your battle. That way, you can use your knowledge to eliminate them and keep them away.

          • How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
          • What Are Bed Bugs?
          • What Attracts Bed Bugs?
          • How Can You Know If You’re Infected?
          • Bed Bug FAQ’s
          • How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling
          • How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
          • How DDT Affects Bed Bugs

          How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

          1. Bedding and garments need to be washed in boiled water, preferably at 120°F.
          2. Dry clean all your clothes.
          3. For items that cannot be washed, wrap them in a transparent plastic bag and place the bag outdoors where the temperature can reach 120°F.
          4. Use well-known insecticides to kill bed bugs.
          5. Kill bed bugs by freezing them. Although it’s a bit difficult and time-consuming, you can save this trick for the winter time.
          6. Steam your carpets above 120°F.
          7. Vacuuming the house may not eliminate each and every egg and bug, but it can help get rid of them to a degree.
          8. Rubbing alcohol can kill bugs that come in with it contact, but you cannot rely solely on this method.
          9. Buy a bed bug spray that contains IGR (Insect Growth Regulator), which is very effective if the infestation is small.
          10. Reduce clutter in your home. With less clutter, bed bugs have fewer places to hide and reproduce.
          11. Non-toxic and pet-friendly, diatomaceous earth is an environmentally friendly way to kill all kinds of insects, including bed bugs. You can find it in powdered and spray forms.
          12. Some oils like tea tree and neem oil can’t kill bed bugs, but they work well to repel them. Tea tree oil is an extract from theMelaleucaalternifolia plant—it can cause various health problems with pet birds, cats, and small dogs. If there are pets in the house, look for other safer choices. If you use the oil, apply it in small quantities to the skin to repel bed bugs. Since bed bugs are active at night, apply it before bedtime.

          What Are Bed Bugs?

          A bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a small, blood-sucking parasite that feeds on the blood of warm-blooded animals and humans. A bed bug begins its life as a white egg about 1mm long. It takes 10 days to hatch and grow into an adult in six weeks. An adult bed bug may grow up to eight millimeters in size.

          • They belong to the insect family Cimicidae.
          • There are different types of bed bugs in existence.

          Bed bugs are mainly found in the bedroom—hotels, inns, and private homes alike. These insects, with their flat bodies, can hide in tiny chinks in and around the bed. They wait for their prey (us) to sleep. Then, they come out poking their snout into our skin to suck our blood. They are most active about an hour before dawn.

          Their bite causes itchy red bumps similar to mosquito bites. The color of a bed bug can be reddish-brown to brown. The more they eat, the darker they become. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) can be translucent or light tan in color. Bed bugs are often red in color after feeding, and they are attracted to heat.

          • A bed bug bite is typically a red spot with a small central bulge around the sting site. The slot-opening is still visible. Usually, you can find several bumps together.

          What Attracts Bed Bugs?

          Contrary to popular belief, dirty places are not a source of bed bugs. They need warm blood, and they spread wherever it is available. It doesn’t matter if the area is tidy or dirty.

          They spread very quickly and can hide very well. You can catch bed bugs from public places like the theatre or hotel rooms. Bed bugs usually travel via clothes, luggage, coats, or whatever they can get. Whenever you come in contact with anything that carries bed bugs, you are attacked and become the new carriers.

          • Bed bugs can hide anywhere in your home: closets, behind baseboards, inside beds, etc.
          • The more cluttered your home is, the more hiding places exist for bed bugs.

          Bed Bug Symptoms

          You know when the itching starts and looking at the bites (possibly several of them) that bed bugs are a problem in your life. If they look similar to the pictures above, you’ve been attacked by bed bugs.

          • You can see rusty-colored blood spots on your sheets and furniture where bed bugs concentrate.
          • If the insects are in great numbers, you can smell a sweet, musty odor.

          It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug because they inject an anesthetic and coagulant which prevents a person from realizing they are bitten.

          Other symptoms of bed bug bites include the following:

          Common Questions About Bed Bugs

          1. Can you see bed bugs?Yes. They can be seen, but it is difficult as they are experts at hiding. You may need to thoroughly check the whole bed, bed sheets, clothes, and luggage.
          2. How big are bed bugs?Adult bed bugs are usually 4-5 mm in length. They are completely flat, which makes it difficult to spot them. Young bed bugs are much smaller as 1.6 mm long. You can easily see a bed bug by putting little effort into looking.
          3. Are bed bugs dangerous?Unlike other insects, bed bugs are not very dangerous. They are simply irritating. In rare cases, they can transmit the hepatitis B virus. Also, the saliva they inject can cause allergic reactions in some people.
          4. Do bed bugs fly?No, they do not fly. Bed bugs do not have wings and therefore, cannot fly.
          5. Does alcohol kill bed bugs?Alcohol can kill bed bugs, but you cannot rely on alcohol to eliminate them entirely. Rubbing or spraying alcohol kills bed bugs that come in contact with it. It will not continue to kill them unless you spray alcohol periodically, which is not a good option. Also, alcohol does not kill bed bug eggs.
          6. How do bed bugs spread?Bed bugs can spread easily. The most common vehicles are clothes and luggage. They also travel via purses, suitcases, laptop bags, etc. That’s how they make their way to hotel rooms, offices, hospitals, and any other building.
          7. Where do bed bugs hide?Because their bodies are flat, they can hide under the smallest spots like the border of beds, under the mattress, edges of carpets, couches, cracks in the walls and ceilings, in your pillows, under your bed sheets, behind electrical plugs and wall sockets, in your cupboards and dressers, or under furniture. In fact, bed bugs prefer any fabric materials. They can travel pretty good distances, too. Expect them to be able to be found anywhere in the room.

          How to Treat Bed Bug Bites

          Here is a simple method to get rid of bed bug bites quickly and easily.

          What You’ll Need

          • Antibacterial soap
          • Towel
          • Anti-itch cream

          Instructions

          1. Wash the affected area with warm water. Apply soap to the area. Hand wash it gently but thoroughly. Rinse the area with warm water until all the soap is removed.
          2. Pat the area dry with a towel. Do not rub or scrub your skin. Apply the anti-itch cream to the area, following the instructions on the package. Gently apply the cream, but do not scratch or rub the area with a lot of pressure.
          3. Place the ice pack on the affected area. Leave it on for about 15 minutes to reduce the swelling.

          How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

          Before you book hotels, read the reviews online. Most travelers will not post fake reviews about bed bugs attack because they don’t have time for this.

          When you’re at the hotel, do the following steps:

          • Look for the signs of bed bugs in the room. The easy way to do this is to check the mattresses and bed sheets thoroughly for any dark spots: They may be dried bed bug feces. Other things to look for are blood stains, discarded bed bug skins, a sweet almond smell, and white bed bug eggs.
          • Check the rooms before you pay.
          • Always use cabinets and drawers to keep your clothes and luggage.

          How DDT Affects Bed Bugs

          Before World War II, bed bug infestations were common. After the introduction of DDT in the mid-20th century, however, bed bug infestations became less and less frequent.

          • DDT is a synthetic pesticide mass-produced in the 1940s. It was found to be useful against mosquitoes, bed bugs, and other insects. However, it was also found to harm people and was eventually banned in many countries, including the United States.
          • DDT reduced the presence of bed bugs in the 1940s and 1950s. The pesticide was continued to use until the 1970s. By this time, DDT was not able to kill bed bugs because they developed immunity.

          Bed bugs developed immunity to DDT in the 1950s. Now, the pesticide serves only as an anesthesia for the insect, causing it to fall rather than killing it. The recent upsurge in infections worldwide is associated with several factors, including the increase in international travel and resistance to insecticides.

          What Happens When a Bed Bug Bites You?

          Bed Bug Traps

          DIY Bed Bug Monitor

          "The Missouri Method" Bed Bug Trap

          This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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          Share Your Bed Bug Horror Stories!

          Samuel

          Thanks for the tips I hate dose f**k

          Jummie

          How I hate bed bugs! Thanks for the tips.

          kill em all

          Nasty little f***ers

          Dianna Mendez

          Oh my, I hate to hear of this bug and its damages to others. Thanks for the tips on dealing with them.

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          Bedbugs

          In this Article

          In this Article

          In this Article

          Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color.

          Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.

          Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and require a meal of blood before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.

          Although they are a nuisance, they are not thought to transmit diseases.

          Where Bed Bugs Hide

          Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their flattened bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.

          Over time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location. They may also spread to nearby rooms or apartments.

          Because bedbugs live solely on blood, having them in your home is not a sign of dirtiness. You are as likely to find them in immaculate homes and hotel rooms as in filthy ones.

          When Bedbugs Bite

          Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bugs feed from three to 10 minutes to become engorged and then crawl away unnoticed.

          Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.

          People who don’t realize they have a bedbug infestation may attribute the itching and welts to other causes, such as mosquitoes. To confirm bedbug bites, you must find and identify the bugs themselves.

          Continued

          Signs of Infestation

          If you wake up with itchy areas you didn’t have when you went to sleep, you may have bedbugs, particularly if you got a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites started. Other signs that you have bedbugs include:

          • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
          • Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
          • Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
          • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands

          If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

          Also, check the area around the bed, including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bedbugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bedbugs, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.

          If you find signs of infestation, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.

          Bedbug Treatments

          Getting rid of bedbugs begins with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live. This should include the following:

          • Clean bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Place stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
          • Use a stiff brush to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
          • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors.
          • Encase mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
          • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
          • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

          If your mattress is infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

          Continued

          Bedbug Extermination

          While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.

          Generally it is safest and most effective to hire an experienced pest control professional for bedbug extermination.

          Sources

          University of Kentucky College of Agriculture: "Bed Bugs."

          Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet: "Bed Bugs."

          The New York City Department of Heath and Mental Hygiene: "Stop Bed Bugs Safely."

          University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Lancaster County: "Managing Bed Bugs."

          The Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

          If you notice that you have small itchy spots, red rashes or blisters when you wake up, it could be a sign that you have bed bugs. These tiny little pests can infest the seams of your mattress, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. It can be a challenge to get rid of bed bugs because they are hard to detect and they multiply rapidly. Bed bugs should be destroyed as quickly as possible because they can infest other areas of your home and cause a major problem.

          Actually, bed bugs are not a sign that you have a dirty home, but they can be brought into your house through luggage, used furniture and beds, clothing and other household items.

          Fortunately, there are many ways to naturally get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs can’t survive extreme hot or cold temperatures, so, methods like steam cleaning, hot washes, and drying on a high heat are natural home remedies to eliminate bed bugs from clothing and bedding. Placing small items in the freezer is another way to kill bed bugs.

          For larger areas, you can make your own natural bed bug sprays from tea tree oil, lavender oil, or eradicate bed bugs by sprinkling diatomaceous earth powder in crevices that bed bugs like to inhabit.

          Before we look at the best home remedies to eliminate bed bugs naturally, let’s look at the symptoms of bed bugs and the problems these tiny insects can cause.

          The Problems Bed Bugs Cause

          Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and gorge on the blood of humans and animals. Although bed bugs don’t spread disease or cause infections, they cause a lot of personal discomfort.

          Bedbugs can also quickly infest beds, couches, furniture and are difficult to find and kill because they like to hide in dark cracks, crevices, and gaps.

          Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDsays that bed bugs reach adult maturity within a month and can produce 3 or 4 generations a year. 1

          According to theNational Pest Management Association(NPMA), the problem of getting rid of bed bugs and bed bug control is growing every year. A survey carried by the NPMA found there is a resurgence of bed bug infestations in hotels, movie theaters, public transportation, and even medical facilities. 2

          Signs and Symptoms of Bed Bugs

          There is no doubt about it – bed bugs are a nuisance and exterminating these tiny pests should be a top priority. One of the first symptoms that you may have a bed bug infestation is bites on your skin. These bites can appear anywhere on your body that the bed bug can crawl to. According to theNational Health Servicein the United Kingdom, some of the other symptoms of bed bug bites are: 3

          • itchy red bumps on the skin
          • a red itchy bed bug rash
          • fluid-filled blisters or welts
          • a skin infection caused by scratching the itchy skin and allowing bacteria to enter the wound

          There will also be some signs around your bed that indicate you need to think about some effective methods of bed bug control. For example, with a flashlight, you may discover the tiny bugs in seams around the edge of the mattress or in the bed joints or spring box. You may also notice dark or red spots on your bedding or mattress. This is their dried feces or blood from a killed bed bug.

          What are the best ways of getting rid of bed bugs from your bed, mattress, headboard, couches, or anywhere else that they might be living? Here are some of the best tried and tested bed bug natural remedies.

          If you have bed bug bites, make sure to read my article about the best natural ways to get rid of bed bug bites.

          Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of bed bugs:

          10 Best Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

          Find the bed bug Infestation

          One of the first steps to completely eliminate all traces of bed bugs from your home is to find all the infested areas. Bed bugs are usually found in bedrooms but they can inhabit any room in the home where people and pets sleep.

          TheUS Environmental Protection Agencyrecommends carefully checking the seams of mattresses and other soft furnishings in your home. Examine the spaces between cushions, your mattress and bed frame and any other possible hiding place in your bedroom. Don’t forget to check drawer joints, behind loose wallpaper, and even in electrical appliances. 4

          Any space the thickness of a credit card is a potential home for bed bugs.

          Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of bed bug naturally

          Using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bed bugs is a very effective and simple method to eradicate bed bugs from your bedroom.

          A vacuum cleaner is a common household item so you can use it right now to kill bed bugs. To make sure and get rid of any eggs around the seams of your mattress, use a stiff brush to loosen any bed bug eggs from the material.

          Bed bugs can be hiding everywhere, so you’ll need to vacuum all chairs and other soft furnishings, carpets, box springs, and mattresses and even curtains.

          Regarding bed bug control, the journalClinical Microbiology Reviewssays that vacuuming can quickly get rid of a large number of bed bugs and their eggs. When using a vacuum cleaner to control bed bug infestations, it’s essential to use a disposable bag. As soon as you have vacuumed the infested area, remove and seal the bag before disposing of it. 5

          Freeze items to kill bed bugs

          Kill bed bugs in smaller items by placing them in a freezer. Although bed bugs can’t withstand freezing temperatures, they can live for up to a year in a cool room without any food sources.

          To naturally kill the bedbugs you need to place infested items in a freezer that has a temperature below 1°F (-17°C) for at least 2 hours. 5

          Hot steam kills bed bug

          Hot steam is a great home remedy to destroy bed bugs and their eggs without damaging the environment.

          The hot steam method for bed bug eradication can get rid of bed bugs from small crevices and cracks. The steam can also penetrate through the mattress lining and eradicate bug infestations inside the mattress.

          Scientists have found that bed bugs are quickly killed when exposed to temperatures above 140°F (60°C). 5

          So, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use it to exterminate bed bugs quickly without using harmful chemicals.

          To kill bed bugs fast on your own using steam do the following:

          1. Thoroughly vacuum all the areas you plan to steam.
          2. Use the steamer on all surfaces where you see bed bugs and areas where you think bed bugs may be hiding to completely get rid of them.
          3. After using the steamer, the fabric may be damp, but it should not be wet. If the fabric is too wet decrease the amount of steam produced by the steamer.
          4. After you are finished, use a fan in the area to circulate air to help dry the items you have steamed.
          5. Repeat the steaming procedure a couple of times until all the bed bugs are completely gone.

          You need to be aware that steaming will only kill bed bugs that are exposed to the heat, so any bed bugs that do not come into contact with the steam will survive.

          What is the best type of steamer for bed bug eradication?

          The general recommendation is to use a powerful and heavy duty steamer with a large water tank, preferably with a steam volume control. Small steamers may not be effective in eliminating bedbugs. Small steamers require constant refilling and may cover less surface area so they can be less effective in eliminating bed bugs. They may also not get hot enough to eliminate bedbugs on and around the mattress.

          Hot wash bedding and clothing

          You can also get rid of bed bugs from infected clothing and other fabric items by placing them in the washing machine and wash them at a temperature of over 60°C.

          Hot washing is probably one of the easiest and fastest natural ways to kill off bed bugs from clothing and other items using a common household item.

          Use a hot dryer

          After putting infested items of clothing or bed linen through a hot wash, you should dry the items in a dryer set to a hot setting. This will make doubly sure that the bed linen is sterilized from bed bugs.

          Dr. Carol DerSarkissian onWebMDrecommends the hot wash and hot dryer method to de-infest fabric items like curtains, bedding, shoes, and stuffed toy animals from bed bugs. 1

          You could also use a hair dryer together with your vacuum cleaner to drive bed bugs out of crevices. Set the hair dryer to the hottest setting and direct into the crack. The hot air will kill the bed bugs and also force them out. Any bug not killed by the hair dryer can be sucked up with the vacuum cleaner.

          Encase mattresses and pillows

          Another natural way to prevent bed bugs from biting you during the night and stop them infesting other parts of your home is to encase mattresses and pillows.

          Encasements for mattresses, spring boxes, and pillows are tightly woven covers that prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping. The encasements should be kept on for at least a year to ensure that all the bed bugs die naturally.

          TheNational Pesticide Information Centerrecommends using encasements to protect your bed from bed bug infestations. In addition to encasing your bed items, they also recommend placing bed bug traps (such as this one) under your bed legs to stop bed bugs crawling up. 6

          Other Natural Home Remedies to Eradicate Bed Bugs

          While the above home remedies are excellent ways to eliminate bed bugs from your home, it is also necessary to treat areas with natural insecticides to kill bed bugs and eggs in hard to reach places. Here are some natural insecticides that you can make yourself to get rid of bed bugs.

          Tea tree oil bed bug spray

          The insecticidal properties of tea tree oil make it a great natural treatment to get rid of bed bug infestation. You can use the homemade tea tree spray to kill off bed bugs in hard to reach places, like cracks, crevices, and furniture joints.

          A study from 2014 found that a tea tree oil solution is an effective and natural insect repellent and also acts as an insecticide. 7

          To make a natural insecticide with tea tree oil, put 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and shake well. Spray liberal amounts of the natural insecticide in all areas where you think bed bugs are living. Use the tea tree oil bed bug spray daily until all the signs of bed bugs have disappeared completely. Remember to shake the natural spray well before each application.

          Tea tree oil is also a great natural remedy to cure any skin itching caused by bed bugs.

          Lavender oil pesticide spray

          Similar to tea tree oil, lavender essential oil can be used to make an effective natural DIY pesticide spray to kill bed bugs.

          The insect-repellent properties of lavender oil are toxic for bed bugs but completely safe to use around the home.

          One study into the effect of essential oils and their use for insect and bug control found that a combination of lavender oil and peppermint oil effectively kills off insects. 8 Lavender oil also helps to destroy insect eggs and larvae as well as repelling bed bugs. Peppermint oil also has a strong repellent action. 8

          To make a natural bed bug spray, add 10-15 drops lavender essential oil and 10-15 drops peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Use the natural spray to treat areas infested with bed bugs. Use the natural pesticide spray daily until you no longer have any signs of bed bug infestation. Shake well before each application.

          There are many other effective sprays to eliminate these nasty critters – read about them in my article about the best bed bug sprays to kill bed bugs fast.

          Diatomaceous earth (DE) for bed bug control

          Diatomaceous earth powder helps to kill off bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate because it destroys their outer protective membrane. Some people also call it bed bug powder. Because vacuum cleaners may not remove all bed bugs in deep crevices, diatomaceous earth powder is an excellent way to control bed bugs and prevent further infestation.

          A study into the use of diatomaceous earth in bed bug eradication found that it is a safe, non-toxic way to rid your home of bed bugs. Even though diatomaceous earth (DE) is slow acting, the study found that this was an advantage. This is because the bed bugs transfer the powder to other bugs and help to distribute the natural insecticide to their habitats. The study found that within 4 days, 80% of all the bed bugs had been killed. Complete eradication was achieved in 12 days. 5

          To naturally eliminate a bed bug infestation with diatomaceous earth, dust the bed bug powder around all areas where bed bugs may be hiding. Repeat the process every 3 days for 2 weeks to ensure complete removal of all the bed bugs.

          Make sure to usefood gradediatomaceous earth (here is one example), as it is safe to use around the home and it’s an effective home treatment for killing bed bugs and fleas.

          Home Remedies for Killing Bed Bugs – Commonly Asked Questions

          Can baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) kill bed bugs?

          Some people suggest that baking soda is an effective natural bed bug killer as it can dehydrate them or possibly even poison these tiny little pests.

          However there is no indication showing that baking soda can eliminate bed bugs. In fact, baking soda doesn’t absorb much fluids so it will not dehydrate the bed bugs.

          Baking soda actually breaks down in water quite easily, so its ability to absorb thick, viscous fluids like the wax on a bed bug’s shell is questionable. In addition, bed bugs don’t eat dry items in their environment such as sodium bicarbonate so it cannot poison them.

          Can salt eliminate a bed bug infestation?

          Salt has been used for decades to kill pests, such as slugs and snails by absorbing fluids from their body and causing them to dehydrate.

          Some people believe that salt can eliminate bed bugs in the same way it kills slugs and snails. However there is a very strong anecdotal reference that this doesn’t work.

          Does boric acid kill bed bugs?

          Boric acid, can be used as a natural pesticide to kill roaches, eliminate ants, and eradicate termites but it needs to be ingested by the pest. Bed bugs have piercing and sucking mouth parts, and they do not ingest material other than blood from living hosts. Hence, there’s no way to get boric acid into the bed bugs’ stomach to kill them.

          Does vitamin B1 (Thiamine) repel bed bugs?

          Thiamin has been reported to be a mosquito repellent but there is no strong scientific evidence to support the fact that vitamin B1 helps in repelling bed bugs.

          What is the best way to kill bed bugs naturally?

          The best way to completely eliminate bed bugs for good is to use the following methods together:

          • Vacuum all areas where bed bugs can be found.
          • After vacuuming, use hot steam to naturally kill the remaining bed bugs instantly.
          • Hot wash infected clothing and all fabric items.
          • Use hot dryer for items that cannot be washed.
          • Encase mattresses and pillows to prevent bed bugs from biting you.
          • Use natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth and tea tree oil to exterminate bed bugs in hard to reach places.

          How to Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

          The best way to make sure that you never have any bed bug bites is to prevent bed bugs from infesting your home in the first place. Here are some top bed bug prevention tips:

          • If you notice blood spots or dark marks on your bedding, immediately check all areas of your bed, mattress, and bedding for bed bugs.
          • After returning from vacation, thoroughly vacuum your luggage.
          • When staying in hotel rooms, take a flashlight with you to inspect the bed frame and mattress for tell-tale signs of bed bugs.
          • Before bringing in second-hand furniture, beds, or mattresses to your home, thoroughly examine the items to make sure there are no bugs hiding in corners, joints, and seams.
          • If you notice any bed bugs, eliminate them using theseeffective bed bug spraysto get rid of them for good.

          Read my other related articles:

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          13 Responses toThe Top 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

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